Council OKs contract for Plaza work

Work on the next phase of the downtown Plaza redesign will start in two to three weeks after the Ashland City Council approved a $139,700 contract for concrete and paver work.

The council awarded the contract Tuesday to Rogue Valley-based Ausland Group, which submitted the lowest out of 10 bids.

Ausland will build low concrete walls that provide seating and protect landscaping, install wells for tree roots, lay down permeable pavers that let rainwater percolate through, and install lights, according to city staff.

The work must be substantially completed by the end of March for Ausland to avoid financial penalties, city staff said.

Meanwhile, city workers will remove existing concrete, install new electrical conduit and perform other tasks.

Ashland is spending $35,700 on design work and $12,500 on an archaeological survey of the site, city staff said.

The total paid to outside firms — not for city employee work — is $187,900, according to the latest figures provided by the city.

In December, city officials said the total budget, not counting city staff work, would be an estimated $168,000, including a $28,000 contingency amount.

Archaeologist Jeff LaLande is preparing his final report on his findings during an archaeological dig at the Plaza, which was used by American Indians and pioneers centuries ago.

The city has received approval from the State Historic Preservation Office to move forward. Crews must follow excavation depth limitations set by LaLande, said Ashland Engineering Services Manager Scott Fleury.

The city will put up signs saying that surrounding Plaza businesses are open during the construction project, Fleury said.

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